sohomill yl 99

Previously, I have discussed these types of locks. Unfortunately, there are websites that put these locks on a “best deadbolt” or “best front door locks” list. This is not correct. This SoHoMill Electronic door knob lock is not made to be the only lock on your front door. But it is perfect for an interior door such as storage, office, humidor, wine cellar or some other room you want to keep secure.

What’s In The Box

The parts in the box:

  1. Exterior Lock
  2. Interior lock
  3. Latch
  4. Battery Backup
  5. 4 AAA batteries
  6. Strike
  7. Screw set
  8. Interior knob battery compartment

The paper instructions are not included but if you scan the QR code on the box front you can get some instructions.

Lock Design

First thing I noticed out of the box was how heavy the lock is. It doesn’t feel like a typical interior door knob. It felt sturdy and durable. The latch, knobs and body were made of metal, zinc metal alloy.

The knobs have “SoHoMill” stamped on a collar that goes around the knob. The letters are embossed into the collar giving you increased grip on a smooth knob. The increased grip will also come in handy if this is used in an outdoor setting.

This keypad lock is a little different than most other keypad locks that have the keypad on a panel or screen. The SoHoMill Electronic lock has the keypad on the knob. There are other manufacturers that are doing this as well like Pineworld and TurboLock.

But this design of the lock will not allow you to have a lever option because there will be no where to put the keypad. If you are installing this in a public space then you should check local codes and ADA requirements. You might not be able to install this where the public might need to use it.

This is not a smart lock just a basic latch lock with a keypad. This electronic door lock doesn’t work with BlueTooth or WiFi. And there is no smartphone app to grant access or codes or an entry log.

This means there aren’t too many features on it. Which is fine for me, I don’t like paying a lot for an electronic device for a bunch of features that I don’t end up using or don’t want.

Installing the SoHoMill Electronic Door Knob

This SoHoMill lock installs in a standard door cutout. There should be no need to make any modifications to your door after you remove the existing handle.

sohomill door knob lock

The thickness of your door can be between 1 3/8″ and 1 3/4″ for this lock. These are standard door thicknesses in North America. This was installed on a door that is 1 3/8″ thick, and I didn’t have an issue. The screws they provided are long enough for both thicknesses.

I did have a little trouble attaching the interior battery compartment and cover. This battery cable is pretty stout and doesn’t bend easily so the interior knob cover doesn’t just fit there and stay. You have to hold the cover on with pressure and attach the screws at the same time. Other than that, the installation was simple and took maybe 10 minutes. I realize I have had much experience installing locks but even a beginner should have no problem installing this lock.

If you have a storm or screen door where this lock is going you will want to measure the distance from door face to your screen or storm door. This knob extends 3 1/4″ inches from the door to the furthest point.

All Weather Proof?

The lock is described as “all weather” by the manufacturer. It also says it has “stainless steel coating” which is not the same as being made of stainless steel.

Interior knob without battery compartment

However, I will say that the exterior knob looked to be weather tight. The battery backup hole on the bottom of the knob has a rubber plug to keep moisture out.

I don’t know if you can see this in the picture to the right. But the only way to access the screws that holds the interior knob to the exterior knob are through holes in the back of the interior knob which is also the battery compartment. These holes in the back of the interior knob will allow water to get in. Therefore, this lock should not be used where the interior knob is exposed to the elements.

Features

The keypad

sohomill electronic lock keypad

Most of the keypad locks you will find have rubber keys with numbers in black. Some of these locks have been known to have the numbers wear off over time with usage. This does present a security problem because it won’t take too many guesses to figure out the code based on which numbers are worn off or dirty.

The SoHoMill door knob doesn’t have this problem. The numbers are printed below the clear buttons. No matter how many times the buttons are pressed the numbers won’t wear off.

While you’re pressing keys and after a code is accepted or rejected the lock beeps. This cannot be turned off. It is a security feature that lets you hear if anyone is trying to access it. But it can get a little loud and annoying.

Keypad codes

With the SoHoMill lock you can have up to 10 codes – a master code, a passage code and 8 user codes. The master code is needed to set the passage code and program the user codes. Codes can be up to 15 digits in length. Codes can be deleted just as easily as they are programmed.

Battery Backup

sohomill electronic door knob battery pack

It comes with an external battery backup that plugs into the bottom of the outside knob. It’s for an emergency in case the batteries don’t get replaced before they are drained. Batteries are supposed to last 180 days with 20 uses a day per the manufacturer.

But because it is to be used in an emergency as a backup to allow you to gain access this should be kept outside the room this lock is used on. This also uses 4AA batteries so be sure you have some working batteries around just in case this needs to be used.

Autolocking

There is an autolocking feature that automatically locks after 3 seconds. This cannot be turned off. Instead, you must put the lock in “passage mode”. This allows entry by pushing one key to unlock the door instead of a code.

Warranty & Customer Service

I’ve researched the SoHoMill Electronic Door Knob and have found no warranty information. So I reached out to them for some answers about their warranty policy. I asked what their warranty policy was. Without specifically calling it a “warranty” they told me they stand behind their product and only sell their product through Amazon. And that they follow Amazon’s a-to-z guidelines which is 30 day money back guarantee and one year free replacement. Keeping in mind they only sell through Amazon and no where else, following Amazon’s policy for them makes sense.

However, if you do have a problem with the lock and need help they want you to email them answers to 6 questions about the lock and a screenshot of the invoice or receipt. It raises a red flag to me when they want the customer to jump through hoops when one of their products is faulty.

Apparently, they have had issues with knockoffs presently, as well as in the past, so this might be their way to combat someone returning a lock that isn’t actually a SoHoMill product.

Overall Impressions of SoHoMill Electronic Door Knob

My overall impression of this lock is that it was easy to install, it was made well and operated how it was supposed to. However, I personally would not use this on an exterior door, but that is one use of this lock. I don’t particularly like their return policy and lack of warranty. They have a one year replacement policy through Amazon, whereas the big manufacturers like Schlage and Kwikset has a lifetime or 25 year mechanical warranty.

SoHoMill Electronic Door Knob

8.1

Operation

8.5/10

Installation

9.5/10

Style

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Warranty

7.0/10

Customer Service

7.0/10

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Backlit keypad
  • Low battery warning
  • Comes with an emergency battery backup
  • Has a passage mode

Cons

  • Cannot turn off keypad beeps
  • Not recommended for weather exposure
  • Keypad beeps can be loud
  • No warranty period, just 1 year free replacement if purchased through Amazon

6 Comments

Laura Kilgore · November 10, 2019 at 9:02 pm

I think the information you’ve given on this doorknob is just wonderful. I like it that you present the good, and then the bad…more good, more bad…lol…but the complete picture, so that I can make a better decision. I feel that I have learned something today.

    Bill Kiser · November 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Thank you Laura. I’m happy I was able to help with your decision.

BeyBlader · November 9, 2019 at 9:26 pm

An Awesome read! i never would have thought to use anything other than a chain bolt! & i certainly wouldnt have known to scan the qr code for instructions. so helpful!

Claudia Alexander · November 9, 2019 at 11:15 am

A most comprehensive review…thank you very much! You certainly helped me to decide which lock to get for my study. I agree with you that they are not really suited to be placed on exterior doors.

Claudia

Erick Darke · November 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm

It looks like a pretty cool device to keep interior rooms safe from unauthorized individuals . The only part that looks challenging in the install was the placement and covering of the wires and battery.Other than that it looks like a easy job.Thanks for the review of this product.

    Bill Kiser · November 8, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    The placement and covering the wires and battery was not challenging at all. The lock goes together in only one way and the wires are short enough to where it would be almost impossible to damage the wires.

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